Nature Abounds Receives Growing Greener Grant

SEC members from Cambria County attend baseline water testing training. (Provided photo)
SEC members from Cambria County attend baseline water testing training. (Provided photo)

SEC members from Cambria County attend baseline water testing training. (Provided photo)

DUBOIS – Nature Abounds, a national non-profit organization based in DuBois, has been awarded a $356,884 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Growing Greener Grant Program.

The grant funds will be dedicated to the statewide Pennsylvania Senior Environment Corps Program (PaSEC) that operates under Nature Abounds.

Since 1997, PaSEC volunteers, aged 55 and over, have dedicated more than 2 million hours to protecting and restoring Pennsylvania’s environment. These trained volunteers are engaged in environmental projects like baseline water quality monitoring, watershed assessment, trail restoration and environmental education.

In one year alone, the estimated value of the PaSEC program is estimated at $3,035,714. Over the 16 years since inception, the PaSEC program has contributed an estimated $48.6 million to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

In 2013, Nature Abounds won a Western Pennsylvania Environmental Award for the revitalization and expansion of the PaSEC program.

“We are really excited about the new grant and the continued support of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” said Melinda Hughes-Wert, Nature Abounds president.

She continued, “With the new funding, in addition to continuing to build the SEC, we will also be analyzing the baseline water quality data that the SEC members have been collecting since 1997.

“We will share what we find in terms of changes with the waterways with the local communities and officials, and we will also be putting all the data into a new database, which will be accessible to the public.”

Other states that have SEC efforts under way are Maryland, New Jersey and Alabama. For information about becoming involved with the PaSEC program either as a volunteer or sponsor, contact Nature Abounds at 814-765-1453, email info@natureabounds.org or visit Nature Abounds’ Web site at www.natureabounds.org.

Nature Abounds is a national non-profit organization, bringing people together for a healthy planet.

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